Katy Wang is an award-winning animation director who brings playful characters to life through bold colours and textural brush strokes. Her work plays with the senses in a way that lends an authentically human feel to all of her visuals: a lonely astronaut in outer space; a sleepy bear riding atop a giant dog; elephants dancing and patterns alive – her work is both joyously playful yet weaved with emotion.
During her first year of study at Kingston University, Katy created ‘Mind the Gap’, a short film that went on to screen in festivals worldwide and won two awards for ‘best experimental animation’. Later, It’s Nice That named her one of its Graduates of 2017 for her graduation film, ‘Contact’. Since then she’s made work for clients such as Penguin Books, Youtube, Absolut, Meta, Macmillan, and The New York Times.
Q & A
If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in? Is there a Sci-Fi world you'd buy a one-way ticket to?
No way! I need other human beings around me.
Name a Sci-Fi character vou relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Hmm, I'm not too sure. To be honest I'm not hugely into sci-fi, so nothing comes to mind!
Friend or Foe: humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence? What if robots start making their own Sci-Fi films? Will you support them in their endeavors?
Yes I think it would be interesting to see how they interpret the world.
In 1996, Bugs Bunny recruited Michael Jordan and Bill Murray to form the greatest basketball squad of all-time, the Tune Squad; you're Bugs, who's on your Sci-Fi Tune Squad?
You've gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
To be honest, l've forgotten most of my bad ideas, probably because they were so bad and cringy my brain blocked them out so I wouldn't feel insecure about them haha. I think you just have to put as much of it down on paper as you can and only then does the good stuff come out. Or just take a break and not think about it for a while, and trust that something will pop into vour head.
Do you consider yourself part of a sci-fi community? Or when your brain is in the future and your body's in the present, is that isolating?
Not really, I like watching and reading sci-fi stuff, but I don't think I would say I'm part of any communitv
Do you consider yourself more of an analog or digital person? What kind of balance do strike between the two? Is there a disconnect between the technology you make films about and the technology that you make films with?
Probably more of a digital person since all the work I do as an animation director is digital, but I would like to explore and play with more analog processes for fun.
When you're creating the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspiration? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
For Contact I visited the science museum in London when they had a Cosmonauts exhibition, the different astronaut uniforms and objects were really inspiring. I also looked at illustrations from the 60s and 70s of idealised space rockets and space landscapes.
Lightning round: Star Wars or Star Trek? Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs? Practical or CGI? Dystopia or Utopia? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
I haven't watched either of them, Haven't read any books from these two writers (but I need tol), practical, utopia, pre apocalypse!